Institute of Archaeology University of Wroclaw

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The site at Magnice is located 1km NW from a contemporary village of Magnice, 5 km S from Wroclaw. It was discovered in 1966 during surface survey while in 2005 several probe trenches were made.

Salvage escavations were carried out in advance of planned Wroclaw by-pass construction works. The excavation was performed in 2007 and covered an area of 1.1 ha which produced 330 pits(1).

The oldest settlement stage is represented by two graves of the Corder Ware culture dated by a stone axe of the Ślęza type and a flint blade(2), which seem to be goods of a distroyed grave, however no skeleton was found.

Another pit dated to the Neolithic is a skeleton grave without any grave goods, its chronology is based on the C14 dating which was 3970+/-40 BP (5).

Next settlement stage is related to the early Bronze Age represented by a grave and a pit. In the grave, two vessels were found with a decoration indicating the older phases of the Unetice culture(3). That is supported by a C14 date which is 3630+/- BP. Early Bronze Age pottery shards including fragments of a thick-walled storage vessel were found in one of the pit (4).

Most of unearthed pits are remains of a settlement from the Roman period and the beginning of the Migration period. They were semi-pit houses (6, 7), fireplaces (8, 9), wells (10, 11), storage pits (12), pot holes etc. Their fills produced numerous pottery shards, (13), spindle-whorls (14), bone, stone and iron tools (15), bronze brooches (16, 17).

An interesting phenomena were a vessel-foundation deposit from a posthole by one of the pit houses and a horse skull found in another building. Another horse skull and a quern stone were found at the bottom of one of the wells, they seem to be closing offerings which ended the use of some pits. Such deposits are known from various prehistoric settlements starting from the Neolithic. Some other deposits (18) of animal skulls (cow, 2 dog skulls) and several complete pig skeletons seem to confirm ritual activities at the site.

The excavations were carried out by Justyna Baron, Paweł Czyż, Katarzyna Ibragimow, Ewa Sikora and Tomasz Stolarczyk. Archeology students from Wrocław participated in the project as well (19).

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